Posted by languageandgrammar on January 19, 2008
Certain parts of the media–and by that I mean nearly every part of the media–have started to refer to the part of the electorate who supports candidates based mainly on Christian religious beliefs (in this case, those who support Governor Huckabee) as values voters. That, of course, implies that this group of people votes based on what they believe to be morally correct while the rest of the population does not, or at the very least, it implies that the values of this group are superior to the values of other voting groups.
That line of thought is prejudiced, and the fact that the media so readily repeats the myth is an example of how a repetition of misleading language can become accepted as fact if it is repeated often enough. Because the values voters line has been used often enough, many of us simply accept that they’re talking about those who believe certain conservative Christian beliefs, such as being anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage.
Those are not the values that many in this country consider to be moral, but as long as one group is labeled as the values voters, it might be more difficult for other groups to make valid arguments in favor of their own values, which are equally protected under the constitution.
Language and communication skills, as I talk about in Literally, the Best Language Book Ever, are much more important than knowing grammar rules–although that’s important as well, especially to the staff at languageandgrammar.com! It’s understanding how words can be used to create a desired effect, and the person (or group) who devised the term values voters certainly understands that manipulative strategy.
We all need to.
Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever
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